To prep or not to prep…that is the question.
Many people wonder if it’s worth it to spend a few hours once or twice a week to food prep. Well I’m here to tell you IT IS.
I have been meal prepping for about a year and a half now and LOVE. IT. I usually cook twice a week; once on Monday after I buy groceries and once mid-week when we are ready for something “new.” Each time, I cook a few protein options, some complex carbs, and lots of veggies. I spice it up every now and then with something different (my husband gets bored easily with chicken), but have found that we waste less food when I stick with ole’ faithfuls.
If I find that we’re not eating a lot of something, I go ahead and pop it into freezer containers (like these: http://www.amazon.com/Reditainer-Extreme-Containers-32-Ounce-24-Pack/dp/B00N2TADOY/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1459952714&sr=8-4&keywords=freezer+containers) so that I don’t waste anything. Food costs money and time---both of which are valuable!
So, what does my weekly food-prep look like? Well, here’s a handy-dandy list of my “go-to” options:
-crockpot chicken (see recipe under the Recipes tab)
-broiled/baked fish (tilapia, cod, and/or salmon…depending on what’s on sale that week)
-turkey meatballs (I usually match a huge batch of these and freeze half for the following week)
-plain ground turkey (for tacos, with brown rice/veggies, spaghetti, or for putting something like breakfast burritos)
-boiled eggs (6 or so at a time)
-brown rice (I usually make about 2 cups at a time)
-quinoa (1.5 or so cups)
-steamed sweet potatoes (2-3 large ones, cut in half for better portioning)
-roasted options, such as asparagus, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, and carrots (Preheat oven to 400 degrees, lay out all washed/cut veggies on pan, drizzle with EVOO and salt/pepper, and cook for 25 minutes or until done—depending on what veggies you have. Then divide up into containers/baggies and use during the week!)
-steamed options, such as broccoli, Birdseye “recipe ready” stir-fry, and “recipe ready” peppers/onions
-fresh options (prewashed and diced), such as kale, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, and onions
-avocados are always in my fridge, ready for slicing and dicing (or eating right out of the flesh…HAHA!)
Fruit (all washed and ready for snacking):
-berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries)
-pineapple/melon (depending on the season)
What are some other quick-cooking options I always have in my pantry? I’m glad you asked!
-Purely Elizabeth granola (I have found this at Fresh Market, but it can also be purchased here: https://thrivemarket.com/purely-elizabeth-ancient-grain-granola-cereal-original)
-Bob’s Red Mill GF Quick Cooking Oats (can be found at Publix, Target, Fresh Market, or here: https://thrivemarket.com/bob-s-red-mill-gluten-free-rolled-oats)
-Raw Cacao Nibs (great for adding to mug cakes, pancakes, smoothies, oats, and other baked goods; I buy mine at Fresh Market, but you can find them here: https://thrivemarket.com/navitas-naturals-cacao-nibs)
-raw, local honey (look at your local farmer’s market; the benefits are amazing!)
-dried fruits/nuts, such as low-sugar craisins, raisins, goji berries, cashews, walnuts, and pecans
-chia/flax seeds (these are great additions to snacks, smoothies, yogurt, oats, and baked goods, and can be found at almost any store nowadays)
-NUT BUTTER (Um, DUH! I like Buff Bake, Nuts N’ More, and Wild Friends, all of which can be found on Amazon or Thrive Market)
-Thai Kitchen Lite Coconut Milk (for frothing and adding to my morning cup of joe, as well as adding to some dishes and snacks…look for the culinary kind though, not the beverage, because the fat content is different)
-gluten-free crackers (I love both Mary’s Gone or Sesmark Brown Rice crackers, both found at Fresh Market or on Amazon/Thrive Market)
-Starkist Low-Sodium Chunk Light Tuna (packets for better portion control; found almost anywhere)
-Pretty Fit Protein Packets (great for smoothies, shakes, mug cakes, baked goods, pancakes, etc. You can use my code JAYME20 at www.imprettyfit.com to save 20%!)
Well, that’s it---a little peek at my week! I hope this helps show that food prepping doesn’t have to be as daunting as everyone thinks it is. Try out some of these ideas, tweak them to fit your family’s likes and dietary needs, and (as always) feel free to comment below to ask any questions you may have!
Happy prepping, loves!